PARENTS

Achtung Baby Or Fish Duffing!

19/03/2010 13:06 | Updated 22 May 2015

We're a peaceful family I think. Our politics are peaceful, there is little yelling or shouting in the house and certainly no violence in any form. That said, we do live deep in the countryside and the country 'ain't no place for the faint-hearted'. Some of you may have read a previous post describing our tiny problem of having a house overrun with mice. Having decided on a pincer formation type of attack, we purchased not only a number of traps but also a cat. The cat was and still is useless, but the traps were pretty damn effective.

Now I'm not an overly sensitive person. A former qualified nurse, I remain unaffected by things that may send the more delicate amongst us running for the nearest bucket. That said, the sight of a somewhat flattened rodent is far from charming. We discussed whether this was something to which we should subject Finje. In the end we decided she could take it. We live in the country, surrounded by farms, she is likely to see worse and it would be impossible to shield her from the realities of country life indefinitely. Her reaction, whilst on the one hand reassuring us that she isn't squeamish, was also slightly perturbing.

"Oh look! SNAP! Ha ha dead mouse!"

Right, well, yes, dead indeed. No worries about oversensitivity then.

A good friend of ours is a keen angler. Finje is fascinated by his hobby. Over for a visit yesterday he sat patiently with her in the living room, with a fishing rod, reeling in a plastic fish whilst his wife and I drank coffee and chatted (come to think of it we should visit more often). Curiosity however got the better of her after a while. She wanted to know why we catch fish. Satisfied with our answer that in order to eat fish (fingers) it's helpful to catch said fish first, she fell into a moment of deep thought. Knowing this to be potentially the classic sign of an imminent tricky question, I did the mature thing and scurried off to powder my nose.

After an appropriate length of time I ventured out.

"Mama, you know before you eat a fish you have to cook it and before you cook it it has to be dead, and..."

I closed my eyes, here it comes...

"after you have caught one you have to duff it with a stick to make it dead."

All said with ominous enthusiasm.

"I think she's ready for a fishing trip" announced our friend.

Yes indeed.

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